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Grand Prix Hong Kong - Judge Report

Charles Cheung


Date held: November 17-18, 2001
Format: Odyssey Sealed/Rochester Draft

This was the first Grand Prix of Magic® held in Hong Kong. There were only 184 competitors in the GP, less than 100 were local.

Most local players had never entered such kind of event before, so I think they should have aimed for the Amateur Award Prize only, instead of Main-Tournament Prize. Afterwards, I found out that many players did not even know there was an Amateur Award, maybe that somehow explained the low attendance record.

This was the first time I participated as a Judge in a REL 4 event, as well as many local staffs, too. That happened to be a wonderful experience for us.

There were a few things I wish to mention about this tournament.

Searching Deck Lists for Deck Checks.

There were 2 languages of Odyssey available for the players to choose - Chinese (Traditional) and English. It was a convenience to the players, but did cause troubles to the Judges.

The problem was mainly a cultural difference- the formal style of name of many Asian countries are : family name personal name, unlike the rest of the world. For the name box provide on the Chinese version decklist, it is just a box, with no first name and last name indicated. So many Chinese players entered their name in the format of last name first name without even using a comma to separate them. The same mistake could even be found on their records in the DCI database.

So when the deck lists were sorted alphabetically, some were correctly filed against their last name, but others were against the last word of their first name. This made a time waste at the beginning when we tried to find the deck list of some players for deck checking purpose. Maybe a modification of the name box in Chinese version will be helpful.

Judging using too much time

The floor judges at Grand Prix Hong Kong helped as needed

I was mainly a floor judge on day 1. After answering some simple ruling questions, issuing some warnings to some players for their own mistakes, the following happened in round 3.

I was called to a table where a Hong Kong player was playing against a Japanese. The discussion concentrated on whether an Embolden was flashbacked, but after I listened to both of them, both players could not explain clearly what happened in that turn and the turns before.

The Japanese player then asked for Japanese translated, a level 3 Japanese Judge came, listened to him and told me a story but still cannot conform to the situation. Then another level 2 Japanese Judge came, and asked the player to tell him the case again. After a long discussion, surprisingly, the 2nd Judge then told me a totally different story. At that moment, the time for that round was called, so Mr. James Lee, the Head Judge, decided to treated that duel as a draw in order not to keep all other players from waiting for HALF AN HOUR.

Although the situation was very unusual, since both players had no idea of what happened in the past few turns, I found myself to have made some mistakes:

Mistake #1: Since I was the first judge came to that table, I should be in charge of the whole case, so I should have stopped the 2nd Japanese Judge to discuss with the player from the very beginning.

Mistake #2: As both 'stories' did not conform to the reality, I should have made the judging according to what they told me the first time, after the first Japanese Judge had come.

TThe Draft format required a lot of judging supervision

Mistake #3: If I don't judge by myself, I should have called the Head Judge to take over the case at a much an earlier time.

I have gained much experience from this case and this may be a good counter-example to all inexperienced judges.


Everything looked fresh - the first GP HK, the amateur HK players, I myself and this report, yes, this is the first time I wrote a Judge Report.

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